Kimbear prior to the 2018 Godolphin Mile (Michael Adolphson)
A mainstay in Group-level dirt miles over the past three seasons has been HH Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi’s Kimbear, who looks for better luck in his season opener in the Dubai Creek Mile (Listed) on Thursday night. The Doug Watson-trained 6-year-old son of Temple City had a sluggish break in last year’s edition and subsequently had to negotiate enough traffic problems to perhaps cost him the race. Winning that day was longtime rival Secret Ambition, whom he defeated next out in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 over the same course and distance.
“I think he always needs his first run, but with that being said, he’s had some super works the last three weeks,” Watson said. “We have got him as close as we can get him on works and we think he’s going to run well. The goal is to get back to the Maktoum Challenge.
“He’s a lot more calm this year,” Watson continued. “He was a runaway before in his training and he’s really relaxed in the mornings. That’s the major difference this year. He’s giving weight to these horses because he won a Group 2 and he’s going to need the run, but he’s training great.”
Watson also starts a new acquisition in Sky Racing’s Mount Pelion–making his first start for the yard–and Zaur Sekrekov’s Thegreatcollection, who was forced to check while making a smart rally in last year’s Dubai Creek Mile. The hard-trying latter has the benefit of a run this season when losing by a nose in handicap company to fellow Dubai Creek Mile runner Casey Jones, whom he was giving 5kgs.
Watson: “Thegreatcollection never overdoes it at home and I don’t know if he could work any slower, but it’s incredible in his races–he finds a way. I would be really surprised if he didn’t run a big race. Mount Pelion, we are still getting used to him, but he’s been training well. It’s a tough race, but we like him.”
Pat Dobbs, first jockey for the yard, has the mount on Kimbear, while Pat Cosgrave rides Thegreatcollection and Sam Hitchcott will be astride Mount Pelion.
See the full field for the Dubai Creek Mile HERE.